Prevention of disease in ferrets fed an inactivated whole cell Campylobacter jejuni vaccine

Donald H. Burr, David Rollins, Lanfong H. Lee, Dawn L. Pattarini, Steven S. Walz, Jing Hui Tian, John L. Pace, A. L. Bourgeois, Richard I. Walker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Ferrets were used to demonstrate the potential of a killed whole cell vaccine prepared from Campylobacter jejuni to protect against disease. C. jejuni strain 81-176 was grown in BHI broth, formalin-fixed, and resuspended in PBS to a concentration of 1010 cells per ml. This vaccine (CWC) or live organisms were delivered orally with a nasogastric tube into anesthetized animals treated to reduce gastric acidity and intestinal motility. When 5 × 1010 CFU of the vaccine strain (Lior serotype 5) or one of two other serotypes, CGL-7 (Lior 4) or BT44 (Lior 9), was used to challenge the ferrets, all of the animals developed a mucoid diarrhea. If the animals had been challenged with 5 × 109 CFU of the homologous strain 1 month before challenge with 1010 CFU, 80-100% protection against disease was seen. This protection was also obtained after an initial exposure to the 81-176 strain followed by challenge with either of the heterologous strains. CWC was used to see if protection demonstrated with the live organisms could be produced with the non-living preparation. When 109 cells of CWC was given as two doses 7 days apart with or without 25 μg of a coadministered mucosal adjuvant, LTR192G, only 40-60% of the animals were protected. If the regimen was changed to four doses given 48 h apart, 80% of the animals were free of diarrhea after subsequent challenge. Increasing the number of cells in the four dose regimen to 1010 cells did not improve protection. Animals given four doses of 1010 cells combined with LT R192G were subsequently challenged with 1010 cells of the homologous strain or the heterologous strain CGL-7. The CWC protected against both strains. Serum IgG antibody titers determined by ELISA showed little increase following the CWC four dose vaccination regimen, compared to animals given one dose of the live organism. On subsequent challenge, however, both CWC vaccinated and live-challenged ferrets showed comparable antibody titer increases above those obtained following the initial challenge or vaccination. Western blots were used to show that the immunodominant antigen in vaccinated animals was a 45 kDa protein, while in ferrets challenged with live organisms the immunodominant antigen was a 62 kDa protein. These data show that the CWC can be used to protect against disease caused by Campylobacter. They also show that protection and serum IgG responses do not depend upon the use of the mucosal adjuvant and that cross protection among some of the major serotypes of Campylobacter responsible for human disease is possible.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4315-4321
Number of pages7
Issue number34
StatePublished - Jul 29 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Campylobacter
  • Diarrhea
  • Vaccine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)
  • veterinary(all)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Infectious Diseases


Dive into the research topics of 'Prevention of disease in ferrets fed an inactivated whole cell Campylobacter jejuni vaccine'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this